Navigation Links
Alzheimer cell death in Zebrafish: Demise of neurons observed live for the first time
Date:4/14/2009

Extensive death of nerve cells leads to severe dementia in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Until now, it has only been possible to investigate the neuronal devastation in post mortem animal models, and by using complicated methods. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) Muenchen, headed by Professor Christian Haass, have now successfully observed this demise of nerve cells by life imaging. The scientists inserted a gene into zebrafish that leads to a severe form of Alzheimer's in humans. The translucent larvae thereupon developed characteristic symptoms such as the death of neurons the first directly observable instance in a living organism. "Our discovery now allows us to perform a targeted search for drugs that can stop the extensive cell death, and thereby stop dementia in patients," says Haass. "The first findings have already shown that we can in principle use drugs to block at least some of the disease-related processes in the zebrafish."

Around one million people in Germany suffer from Alzheimer's disease. There are an estimated 12 to 18 million patients around the world. This trend is even rising, not least due to the longer life expectancy of people in western society. The search for causal therapies is sorely needed, since neuronal cell death in the brains of Alzheimer's patients can still not be defeated. Moreover, the death of neurons can only be truly confirmed after the death of the patient. Even in animal models, the destruction of nerve cells has only been observable to a very limited extent and with great difficulty.

Professor Christian Haass and his two colleagues Dr. Bettina Schmidt and Dominik Paquet of the Deutsche Zentrum fr Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease) at LMU Muenchen and the cluster of excellence Center for Integrated Protein Science (CIPSM) have now inserted a gene responsible for a severe form of Alzheimer's in people into zebrafish, with great success. The animals showed the characteristic symptoms, such as deposits in nerve cells and the selective loss of neurons.

They were even able to observe this while it was happening. "The translucent larvae of the zebrafish can be studied under a laser microscope over an extended period of time," reports Haass. "If you add a color dye to the water to specifically stain dying cells, you can even directly watch the neurons as they die. That way, it should also be possible to watch and test directly whether potential drugs actually do have a protective action. First experiments using newly developed drugs have already confirmed this: One drug did have an effect in the living fish and was able to block the disease-related processes in the zebrafish at least to some extent."

The work has already been praised by those in the field: On March 16, Dominik Paquet, PhD student at Haass' lab and first author of the study, was honored with the Verum Award 2009 and the Leda Hanin Award at the International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Prague. Both distinctions are awarded to outstanding young researchers and are each coming with 2000 euros. (CIPSM/suwe and SFB 596)


'/>"/>

Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
0049-089-218-02706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tiny but toxic: MBL researchers discover a mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimers disease
2. Alzheimers disease therapeutic prevents long-term damage from TBI in pre-clinical studies
3. A revolutionary new model for Alzheimers disease
4. New target for medicine to combat Alzheimers: VIB scientists confirm proteins key role
5. TGen and ASU researchers find drug that could reduce risk of Alzheimers
6. New study provides further evidence that apple juice can delay onset of Alzheimers disease
7. Mayo: Variants in gene on X chromosome associated with increased susceptibility to Alzheimers
8. A protein that protects against Alzheimers?
9. Scientists make strides toward defining genetic signature of Alzheimers disease
10. Impaired energy metabolism linked with initiation of plaques in Alzheimers brain
11. Epilepsy drug shows potential for Alzheimers treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing ...  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: